Author: Katherine McIntyre
Genre: Steampunk, alternate history
Publisher: Hazardous Press
Blurb: Airships, sky-pirates, smugglers and soldiers… An Airship Named Desire is an action-filled steampunk adventure.
Ever since their last botched smuggling job, First Mate Bea and the crew of her airship can barely afford fuel, let alone a barrel of grog. So, when a gentleman from Old Germany offers them a fortune to steal a locked box from a British merchant airship, they jump at the opportunity. Somehow, though, their employer forgot to mention the box’s military escort, and the Morlock mercenaries who would kill to get their hands on it. Oh, and that if made public, the contents could engulf Europe in another devastating war.
Stealing the box was the easy part. Now, with a target on their back, and some of the toughest characters in the sky after them, they have to find a way to survive. If the crew of the Desire don’t polish their pistols and prepare for a hell of a fight, they’ll end up worse than grounded. After all, everyone from the Brits to the Morlocks will kill for the contents of that box, and no one survives an airship crash.
First Line: “At least once on every smuggling job, we reached a point where any sane person would have run screaming.” – I love this opening line! There’s an undercurrent of black humour in this book as evidenced by this first line. We also learn something very important about the protagonist Bea in this opening line when she does not behave as a sane person would.
What I Liked: The world. The alternate history and whole sky-pirate element is fascinating and handled very well. Although I know nothing about airships, I never struggled to imagine what these vessels looked like or how they worked. I also really liked Bea. She’s the epitome of a strong female character who can fight shoulder to shoulder with the boys and then slip into something feminine and be a girl. I love that this character wasn’t a complete tomboy.
What I Didn’t Like: There’s a lot of action in this story. The first few chapters are all action and at some point it got too much. I needed some down time, a moment to catch my breath from the frenetic pace. Also, I realise that steampunk might not be the genre for me. While I enjoy the neo-Victorian aspects, they just don’t grab me as much as some of the other -punk genres do.
Bonus Points: The Morlocks! And that subtle but ever-present dark humour.
Rating: 3.5 ink splats. If you enjoy a swashbuckling action-adventure of the steampunk persuasion then you will love this book. The writing is solid and the world is interesting. I’d definitely keep my eye on this author in the future.